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Filip Gawin - "Super Unit 2.0. Super Unit Building Modernization Project."

15 of May '23
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2022

Filip Gawin

Wydział Architektury Politechniki Śląskiej

Dr. Agata Twardoch Prof. PŚ

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Diploma Architecture"

"So, what path to take in the search for the ever-present problems of housing: do we repeat the established archetypes of shaping apartments and their complexes, or do we look for new ones? Of course - to continue searching. The fundamental value of a human being is its difference and multiplicity. Physical and mental. But all are characterized by the desire to improve their existence. Also through the dwelling they have - they would like to change it, improve it. As many dreams as entities" -Witold Ceckiewicz.



Photo: Krzysztof Bytomski

It is estimated that about 12 million people in Poland currently live in prefabricated blocks of flats. These buildings are an integral part of the landscape of many Polish cities. Developed as a response to the housing crisis, they were primarily to be built quickly, cheaply and en masse.

aksonometria, stan istniejący

axonometry, existing condition

© Filip Gawin

Living comfort is closely linked to the quality of our housing. Prefabricated buildings built in the 1970s undoubtedly raised living standards for many people at the time, but more than 50 years have passed since then. It can be said that they are largely unsuited to modern lifestyles.

schemat dostawiania balkonów

balcony addition scheme

© Filip Gawin

The project involves developing a modernization concept tailored to the changing needs of the residents, which will improve the quality of the Super Unit, and looking at what problems the tenants face with regard to habitation issues. The result is the creation of a friendly space that allows for neighborhood interaction, leisure activities, and the development of interests that are impossible with the current square footage of the apartments and the structure of the building.


cross section

© Filip Gawin

The second floor has been designed in accordance with the idea of co-living, which assumes the creation of a living space that will enhance the quality of life of users, and its costs will be shared. Superjednostka's location in the city center and proximity to many workplaces and the University of Silesia make it an attractive choice primarily for young people. The design of the accessory balconies increases their usable space by 21.6 square meters. The floor includes five communal kitchens along with a dining area, three of which are extended by a living room and terrace. The common areas are designed with reading rooms, a workshop, a co-working space and laundry facilities.

aksonometria co-living

co-living axonometry

© Filip Gawin

On each floor of the five smallest M-3 apartments, common areas were designed to strengthen neighborhood ties, provide opportunities for human interaction, pursuit of interests and a place to spend leisure time, which, despite modernization, is prevented by the apartments' square footage. With such a huge premise as a condominium unit, the integration of all residents is impossible, but the creation of a common space within one of the segments provides an opportunity to strengthen ties with immediate neighbors. The project includes the creation of a reading room, gym, places for yoga, meditation, conversation, and meetings of Super Unit residents. However, the exact purpose of these spaces should be decided jointly by the tenants.

aksonometria i rzut czytelni

axonometry and projection of the reading room

© Filip Gawin

The design of Superjednostka 2.0 takes into account many aspects that affect the quality of living in the building. The roof, which overlooks the Katowice skyline, has become a place for neighborhood interaction thanks to the introduction of recreational functions. The diversity of apartment types will allow diversification of the audience. However, it should be remembered that it is largely up to the residents and their needs to decide what to include in the modernized facility. Together, during meetings and discussions, they should participate in the design process.

wizualizacja, część wspólna dachu

visualization, common part of the roof

© Filip Gawin


Illustrations: © Author

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